A Sheffield company whose smart sensing technology helps industry to reduce costs has raised £1.1m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Tribosonics embeds sensors within bearings and other moving parts to create ‘intelligent components’ which can monitor friction and wear and tear. The results help companies to extend plant life, prevent critical failures and reduce energy use. Tribosonics’ technology can be used in manufacturing, power generation and transport – for example to create smart factories, or in critical parts such as the bolts on wind turbines and the bearings within a ship’s propeller.

The investment will allow the company to expand its 23-strong team with the addition of 10 new staff over the next 12 months, and invest further in product development. As part of the deal, Sarah Sandle who is VP Strategy of Rolls-Royce, joins the company as Chair.

Tribosonics was founded by Dr Phil Harper, a specialist in tribology or the science of wear, friction and lubrication, and who is now the CTO. In 2018 he was joined by serial entrepreneur Glenn Fletcher, the CEO, who worked with him to develop and commercialise the company’s unique technology. Tribosonics has developed applications for a number of blue-chip clients.

Glenn Fletcher said: “We are delighted to receive the backing of Mercia and NPIF. Mercia has a great track record in backing innovative tech companies. We are a proud Sheffield business, flying the flag for Northern innovation, cutting edge engineering, and transformational IOT solutions.

“This investment will provide the resources to significantly enhance our technology platform and to expand our very talented team as we rapidly scale our commercial activities globally, using our unique sensing technology to create a more sustainable and valuable future.”

Will Schaffer, Investment Manager at Mercia, added: “Tribosonics is at the forefront of Industry 4.0, allowing businesses to unlock data from industrial systems. The solutions that it is developing have huge potential to advance systems design, improve productivity and reduce costs. As friction accounts for 23% of global energy use, they often have the added benefit of reducing carbon emissions. The investment will help Tribosonics to accelerate product development and to deepen customer relationships.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “This investment demonstrates how NPIF is able to support high-growth businesses in the North, despite the difficulties of social distancing and uncertain economic times. Investment like this is providing vital funding to enable ambitious organisations to expand and create new job opportunities. With more businesses like Tribosonics able to take up investment we should see the economy in the north rebounding strongly.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

 

 

A healthtech business with an app that helps patients communicate with clinicians remotely has raised a further £2m to help expand its use.

Advanced Digital Innovation (ADI) has raised funding from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the UK government’s Future Fund and the company’s Chair and founder Bob Gomersall.

The Yorkshire-based company says the pandemic has boosted interest in its MyPathway app, which removes the need for appointment letters and calls, allowing patients to agree care plans with clinicians, who can then monitor their progress and receive feedback.

Over 55,000 patients are now signed up to the system, which is already used in hospitals in Sheffield, the North West and Essex, and most recently has been adopted in Leeds. The company has completed a successful initial trial in Northern Ireland.

The investment will allow ADI to enhance the product to make it easier for patients to sign up remotely and to achieve further accreditations to extend its use in other areas of the NHS. The company, which currently employs 15 staff, is planning to create 20 new jobs at its headquarters in Saltaire in the next 12 months.

John Eaglesham, CEO, said: “MyPathway has really proved its worth during the lockdown. With routine appointments having to be cancelled, it has made it so much easier for hospitals to communicate with patients and keep track of their condition.

“The pandemic has also led to a major shift in mindset as clinicians and GPs recognise there is not always a need to see patients in person and are more open to new technology. Ultimately this will lead to lower costs and, since MyPathway increases feedback from patients, will allow better evaluation of care pathways and more effective treatment.”

Will Schaffer, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “Healthcare has entered the digital era as the pandemic has driven a change in working practices. MyPathway revolutionises the relationship between patients and healthcare providers, saving time and money and making the patient’s healthcare journey much easier to manage. The investment will allow ADI to increase uptake and extend its reach to other parts of the healthcare system.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “NPIF has a strong track record of supporting innovative companies in the Northern healthtech sector by providing investment. This investment in ADI helps us to build on this trend, as NPIF continues its commitment to investing in ambitious Northern businesses across a host of emerging and traditional sectors. It is our aim to support growing businesses and boost the Northern economy as a result.”

David Strachan and Lucy Holroyd of Schofield Sweeny provided legal advice to the company on the investment while Adrian Ballam of Ward Hadaway acted for the Fund.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

 

Nova Pangaea Technologies, the Redcar company which has found a way to use non-food biomass to make biofuels and other chemicals, has raised a further £900,000 from investors following successful trials of its technology.

The latest funding has come from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the UK Government’s Future Fund and existing private investors, and will support the company in the run-up to a planned Series A investment later in the year.

As part of the latest investment, the company has strengthened its executive management team with the appointment of Neil Guilder as CFO, Dr Neil Hindle as CTO and Peter McGenity as CCO.

Neil Guilder has over 25 years’ experience as CFO of ambitious SMEs where he has led successful development financing and corporate growth. Dr Neil Hindle has over 20 years’ industry experience and will lead the technical development and operations of the REFNOVAÒ patented process. Peter McGenity has over 30 years’ international executive experience in renewable energy, ethanol and agri-processing and will drive the company’s commercial development.

Nova Pangaea patented REFNOVAÒ technology converts materials such as woody residues, wheat straw and sugar cane and uses them as a basis to create biofuels and other chemicals, helping to produce additional revenue for farmers and reduce dependence on fossil fuels without using land or crops suitable for food.

It completed its demonstration plant at Redcar in December 2019 and following successful trials, gained its first international customer in March this year. The latest funding round brings the total raised to £3m with a full series A funding to come later this year.

Sarah Ellerby, CEO at Nova Pangaea Technologies said: “It’s been a transformative six months for Nova Pangaea as we continue to accelerate our commercial offering and move towards a potential Series-A financing. This oversubscription of existing shareholders and support from Future Fund is a key indicator of the level of commitment from our shareholders to execute on the high-level of commercial interest in our technology. With the executive team in place, we are now in a position to execute the growth plan.”

Simon Crabtree, Investment Manager with Mercia, said:Nova Pangaea’s technology has the potential to help break our reliance on oil and create hundreds of jobs in the years ahead. The technology has already been successfully trialled and this latest investment will allow the team to collect more data to prove its effectiveness as it looks to target the global marketplace.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “NPIF continues to provide vital funding to Northern businesses across the region. We are pleased to continue this support, and are proud to work in partnership the Thames Valley Combined Authority and with Mercia and our other fund managers to make a real impact on the small business community, creating jobs and supporting innovation to unlock the North’s potential.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

 

SockMonkey is an award winning gaming studio based in the North East of England

Logically, which is based in Brighouse, Yorkshire uses a team of dedicated fact-checkers alongside artificial intelligence (AI) and digital forensics to analyse media stories and conspiracy theories to help the public separate facts from falsehoods.

A start-up which uses AI to detect fake news has raised £2.5m to further develop its product in time for the US election.

Logically has secured funding from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and  XTX Ventures – the venture capital affiliate of XTX Markets, a leading global algorithmic trading firm.

Logically, which is based in Brighouse, Yorkshire uses a team of dedicated fact-checkers alongside artificial intelligence (AI) and digital forensics to analyse media stories and conspiracy theories to help the public separate facts from falsehoods.

It can also track sources of disinformation, as it did recently when it identified false information purporting to link COVID 19 to 5G phone masts.  Logically has a free app for consumers and also works with governments, news organisations and social media platforms to help prevent misinformation. It has already been used successfully in the Indian general and regional elections last year, in which it detected over 130,000 pieces of problematic content. It has secured contracts in the USA with public sector and social media platforms in the country to report on the forthcoming elections.

Logically was founded in 2017 by Lyric Jain, a graduate of both Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), after witnessing the public debate about Brexit and the 2016 US elections. The company now employs 15 staff in Yorkshire and a similar number in London.

Lyric Jain, CEO, said: With the rise of the internet and social media, falsehoods travel faster than the truth. Misinformation can polarise societies and has become a serious threat to democracy. Logically aims to stop the spread of disinformation, ensure people see both sides of the story and keep elections free and fair. Following on from our early successes in India and Europe, we are looking to establish Logically as a partner for governments, businesses and consumers around the world.”

Ashwin Kumaraswarmy, Investment Manager at Mercia, added: “Logically has developed an AI technology and an impressive client list. It is well placed to work alongside social media platforms like Facebook, as well as Government bodies and businesses, to tackle a growing issue of fake news.

Ekaterina Holt, Head of XTX Ventures, said: ‘’We were impressed with Logically’s technology and team from day one. We invest in emerging companies utilising AI/machine learning, and in Logically we are proud to support another company that will be a future leader in the world of information and data.’’

Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “We are pleased that NPIF has continued to support high-growth businesses in the North, providing vital funding to enable businesses to create new jobs and expand into new markets. This investment demonstrates how this funding can make a real and measurable difference to innovative  businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, creating a more prosperous regional economy.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

 

 

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